Those looking to get into BC’s outdoors this summer with a camping trip now have a few more choices when it comes to where to go.
On Friday, the government announced that it is adding a total of 431 new campsites to its inventory.
“People are passionate about spending time in our beautiful provincial parks, and that has increased demand for camping opportunities,” said BC’s environment minister George Heyman.
Ranging from backcountry to group camping, Heyman said the new campsites are a mix of BC Parks and forestry recreation sites in regions with the highest demand: the Kootenay Rockies, Thompson Okanagan, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
The expansion follows a similar one last year, in which 350 new campsites were added in BC Parks and recreation sites.
This latest expansion means “there are now 11,000 camping spaces at 1,100 recreation sites around the province, for those who enjoy a more rustic experience,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Along with the additional campsites, existing facilities and infrastructure have been upgraded or added in many campgrounds.
As of June 30, BC Parks had nearly 168,000 reservations made through the Discover Camping reservation service, with the majority of reservations originating within BC.
The timing of this latest expansion is no accident, as this Saturday is Canada’s Parks Day.
Held on July 21, Canada’s Parks Day is an annual event that highlights the importance of parks in creating and maintaining healthy ecosystems, protecting critical habitat for species at risk, and contributing to human health and well-being. Educational and family-oriented events will be held in parks and historic sites across the country.
In BC, there are 1,033 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas, covering more than 14 million hectares, or approximately 14.4% of the provincial land base.
BC’s provincial parks receive more than 21 million visits each year and over two million campers from BC, Alberta and Washington are expected to camp or RV in British Columbia in the next two years.